Controversial Labour MP Gisela Stuart has told her CLP that she will not contest the next election. In 1997, her victory in Birmingham Edgbaston was the first big Labour gain of the night from the Tories and she was a symbol of the new wave of Labour MPs. Latterly however, as a prominent advocate of leaving the EU, she alienated many PLP colleagues and local former supporters.
This morning on the Today programme, she was unable to say she would back Jeremy Corbyn for PM. In her e-mail to her members she said,
“I wanted you to hear from me that I have decided not to contest the Birmingham Edgbaston constituency at the general election in June.
After 22 years of campaigning and 20 years of having had the privilege of being the MP for this diverse, forever surprising and wonderful marginal seat I know when it is time to stand down and pass on the baton.
Together we have done amazing things; things we never expected when I became the first “Labour gain” of the Labour 1997 landslide as well as the first ever Labour MP for Bartley Green, Edgbaston, Harborne and Quinton. We won local battles, brought people together, challenged established assumptions about voters (and sometimes our own) and won elections against Tories that we didn’t think were possible. But together we did it . We are Labour and our values are Labour.”